By Dimitra Manifava
Non-European Union citizens will be able to rent out the properties they acquire in Greece which also entitle them to a five-year permit to stay in Greece, according to a Development Ministry plan which has come about following a demand submitted mostly by Chinese investors in Greek properties – the largest national group to have expressed an interest in acquiring such permits.
Crucially, the income those foreign property owners make from renting their assets will be taxed in Greece, according to the plan.
However, the other request that foreign investors had made, for the issue of a Greek passport to investors who receive a five-year residence permit, will not be satisfied, as is the case in Cyprus and Malta.
Law 4146, passed last year, provides for the issue of a five-year Greek residence permit to non-EU nationals who own properties valued at 250,000 euros or more or have signed contracts for a lease of at least a decade for hotels or other types of tourism accommodation valued at the same amount. The permit can be renewed for another five years and also covers family members. Such permits have already been issued to Chinese, US and Canadian nationals, as well as Russians and Ukrainians.
Meanwhile, the Development Ministry is continuing negotiations with the United Arab Emirates, not only on real estate investments but also on the Arabs’ participation in the share capital of private companies active in the sectors of tourism, energy and construction. A senior ministry official said that at least one deal is set to be announced during an intergovernmental meeting between Greece and the UAE scheduled to take place in April under Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
The UAE and other countries also have a keen interest in the Hellenic Investment Fund, which after being officially introduced by law at the end of 2013 is currently being set up. The governments of the UAE, Qatar and China have submitted technical questions regarding the operation of the fund, which the Development Ministry is expected to respond to by the end of February.